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    Elly joined CTPSR in June 2016, having received her PhD from the University of Birmingham the previous year. Her work draws on peace and conflict studies, political geography and critical heritage studies in order to better understand how people and the environments they live in are affected by conflict or natural disaster, and how we can use this information in order to rebuild sustainably peaceful communities after crisis. In particular, she is interested in the relationship between peace, conflict and cultural heritage, and how interventions to safeguard cultural heritage can be harnessed to support peace in communities affected by conflict.

    In recent years she has worked with leading organisations such as UNESCO and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) to advance this work, developing resources for cultural heritage practitioners such as the Peacebuilding Assessment Tool for Heritage Recovery and Rehabilitation (PATH). She has carried out research related to cultural heritage protection in conflict-affected communities in the occupied Palestinian territory, investigated how heritage might provide a resource for resisting violent extremism in Mauritania and Burkina Faso, and examined the memorialisation of mass violence in Nanjing (China) and Coventry (UK), leading to a groundbreaking hybrid theatre performance.

    Elly has been widely invited to present this work as an expert, including to the Getty Villa (USA), UNESCO, to Ukrainian government stakeholders with the Erste Stiftung (Austria); at conferences including the Climate, Culture, Peace forum and as an invited trainer for heritage practitioners on numerous ICCROM courses. She has organised academic panels at the Conflict Research Society, Royal Geographical Society, British International Studies Association and Association of American Geographers, and organised the UK’s inaugural Peace Geographies conference at Coventry University in 2019.

    In addition to work on cultural heritage, Elly has also undertaken a range of research related to the challenges of building peace in contexts including Colombia (where she has led a case study looking at youth agency in peacebuilding), Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Nepal (where she carried out research into the intersection between post-conflict and post-disaster reconstruction). Her doctoral research examined the case of Osh (Kyrgyzstan) and investigated how the physical reconstruction of the city following violence there in 2010 had affected the diverse communities that share the city.

    Elly has worked for a variety of organisations outside academia, including the UK Delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, the campaigning organization Global Witness, and as a consultant representing civil society organisations within the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (the organisation established to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds).

    Research Interests

    Peacebuilding; Post-conflict reconstruction; Cultural heritage; post-disaster reconstruction; Collective memory; Conflict transformation.

    Vision Statement

    I am fascinated by the mutually reinforcing relationship between people, their cultural heritage and what happens to this relationship in times of conflict. I see the process of rebuilding communities following violence or natural disaster as an important opportunity to address root causes of social conflict, and my research seeks to understand how we can use this opportunity to improve the lives of vulnerable and conflict affected populations.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    Geography, Doctorate, Mapping memories and rebuilding identities: Understanding post-conflict reconstruction in Osh (Kyrgyzstan), University of Birmingham

    Conflict Resolution, MA, University of Bradford

    French with International Studies, Degree, University of Warwick


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